Every human being is different. All of us have different capabilities, interests, exposures, relations and just about all aspects of life. Ever wonder why Allah made us like this? If we are all supposed to do the same thing or have the same destiny, why didn’t Allah make us the same? That’s because we don’t have the same destiny.
One way of looking at it is that we all are supposed to play our unique roles in order to facilitate the Imam of our time. The question is how. How can each of us use the unique capabilities and/or interests that Allah has granted us and use it for aiding our Imam?
The best way, in my humble opinion, to contribute to our Imam’s cause is to teach people about him. However, we usually take teaching to be something that involves a person standing in-front of a white/black board teaching a group of students seated facing him/her. That is a very restrictive view of teaching. Not all of us have the patience that a teacher needs or the aptitude of a scholar. All of us are a separate, unique piece of a highly elaborate, extremely large puzzle, the complete picture of which only Allah knows.
Lets say I am a writer. I can write articles that would motivate other individuals to be useful to our Imam. Or if someone is good at animation, they can create stories that help our youth and children understand who our Imam is and instill his presence in their lives from an early age.
However, teaching is not the only way we can help our Imam. For example, if someone has a profession that is a little less mass communicative than a writer or an animator, like maybe a dentist. Even they can help our Imam by being the best in their practice. Similarly, each and every Muslim, in any profession, industry or rank can contribute to the Imam’s cause. Because, once the Imam comes, he will create a wholesome and rich economy that will be unlike anything the present democratic structure could ever bring.
Imam as-Sadiq (AS) said, “When our Qaim rises up…the earth will bring out its treasures, and expose them in such a manner that the people could see them on the ground with their own eyes. The payers of zakat will look for someone needy to whom they could give their zakat but they would not be able to find anyone. Owing to the grace and munificence of God, the people will become needless of others. (Bihar ul Anwar, vol 52, pg 337)
When the Imam comes, the world will not cease to exist. It will keep spinning on its axis. Businesses will still need to be run. People will still need to strive to earn a living. Everyone will be employed. Isn’t that what a good economy means? Thus, there will need to be people in the community that will be able to take up leadership of the different industries of the world.
Women especially can play a very significant role before and after the advent of our Imam. Whether they be housewives or professional doctors, women need to realize that all of them have a role to play. One of the primary and most important responsibilities they have is being a mother, to bear a child that will be devoted to the Imam, who will be an unquestioning soldier. However, that is not the only job they can have.
Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be upon them both) has said: “There will be thirteen women alongside al-Qa’im [when he makes his advent].”
Al-Mufadhal [the narrator of this tradition] asked the Imam:“And what will their role be?”
The Imam replied:“They will treat the injured and look after the sick just as the [women did] at the time of the Messenger of Allah [during the battles].” (Ithbatul Hudat, Vol 7, Pg 150)
So now we know that Imam’s army won’t just consist of male soldiers but also women who will take on the function of doctors and healers. In addition to this, in today’s time, women are excelling in other fields on the basis of education that is far more ubiquitous than ever before and therefore they have far more opportunities to take on roles that were traditionally reserved for men.
In conclusion, it is very important that we feel the responsibility each one of us has, based on the abilities we have been given by Allah. What is required is that we have to dig deep and understand ourselves so that we can determine what our destinies are, which essentially means, how we can use our unique capabilities to take on the specific roles that only we can perform in the service to the Mahdi.